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God Smiles

May the Lord bless you and protect you. 

May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. 

May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace 

Numbers 6:24-26 NLT

Have you ever noticed how some people have special smiles? You look forward to greeting them because you know their eyes will crinkle (and twinkle), and the corners of their mouth will turn upwards, showing the top row of teeth (maybe not). But their smile is more than a contortion of facial features–you know they are genuinely happy to see you. When they smile at you, it feels like time has stopped, and for the briefest moments, your worries disappear. We have a person like that at L Street Mission named Maria. She is in her 80s and speaks to me in Cape Verde Portuguese–which I don’t understand, and I speak to her in English–which she doesn’t understand, but when she smiles, it doesn’t matter what she’s saying. There’s a connection that goes far beyond the words.

Today’s verse comes from the priestly blessing God gave to Moses. The blessing acknowledges that God is the source of all blessings. By His love, he protects and preserves. His face shines upon us, grants grace and mercy, and offers us peace. 

While we know God loves us and is gracious, we may be tempted to think of him as the stern, unsmiling parent. But here, he says about himself, “I smile.” For some reason, the idea of God finding pleasure in the things we do makes God seem more human. He is a smiling parent! His eyes crinkle, and his mouth turns upwards when he looks upon us as faithful and well-behaved children.

As children, what are some things that make God smile upon us?

  • When we trust Him thoroughly, we demonstrate our confidence and faith in Him.

  • When our actions are like His actions–we live righteously.

  • When we use the gifts He’s given us–if you sing, sing; if you are athletically talented, play–whatever talents you’ve been given, use them to God’s glory.

  • When we return God’s smile, we do this by worshiping Him.

Heavenly Father,

We come before You with our hearts open. We imagine Your smile upon us like a proud parent watching their child take their first steps.

Lord, You see our struggles, doubts, and fears. Yet, Your love remains unwavering.

We offer our lives to You. May our actions and intentions bring joy to Your heart.

Just as the priest brought offerings to the altar, we bring our hopes, dreams, and aspirations to You. We trust that Your smile lights our path.

In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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